Bring­ing the larger-than-life char­ac­ter of min­ing heiress Gina Rine­hart to life in the tele­movie House of Han­cock left Mandy McEl­hin­ney with a great sense of re­spect for those who live their life in the public eye

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

To mas­ter Rine­hart’s dis­tinc­tive man­ner­isms and voice, McEl­hin­ney used footage of a young Gina talk­ing about her fa­ther and the Pil­bara.

“I kept that in my head, that lit­tle girl. She has a very par­tic­u­lar ac­cent and way of talk­ing that was a chal­lenge. There’s some­thing very con­trolled about the way she speaks. It’s a great con­tra­dic­tion of a per­son who is in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful but also has an in­cred­i­bly light and del­i­cate bear­ing and way of speak­ing.”

House of Han­cock, orig­i­nally ti­tled Gina, was pro­duced for the Nine Net­work by Michael Cordell, Clau­dia Kar­van and Paul Bennett.

Kar­van cham­pi­oned the project from day one.

“She’s been with the project for so long be­cause she’s re­ally fas­ci­nated with the char­ac­ter of Gina,” McEl­hin­ney says.

And what Rine­hart will think of the se­ries McEl­hin­ney has no idea.

“I have a great sense of re­spect for peo­ple who’ve had their lives played out (in public) … it is com­pletely up to her how she reacts to it.

“Af­ter play­ing Nene King (in Pa­per Gi­ants), and talk­ing to her, I know what an ex­tremely strange and con­fronting thing it is to see a ver­sion of your life played out, with peo­ple walk­ing around pre­tend­ing to be you.”

Grow­ing up in WA, McEl­hin­ney has al­ways been aware of the Han­cock story.

“I re­mem­ber the Rose Han­cock pe­riod. I re­mem­ber it as be­ing like an episode of Dal­las.”

Hav­ing played such a com­pli­cated char­ac­ter, McEl­hin­ney says she has a bet­ter per­spec­tive of Rine­hart.

“I think there’s much more of a hu­man be­ing now than I used to see when I looked at her be­fore.”


Mandy McEl­hin­ney re­quired more than a phys­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion to play Gina Rine­hart.

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